Have you ever wondered if it is possible to make money online at home? Today I’d like to share with you 12 ways you can make it happen.
1. Write for a media outlet
If you are a good writer with good stories, chances are many magazines and media outlet channels would love to hear them! Although in the blogging world, writing guest posts for free is quite common, well-established sites are more than happy to pay for your work. It can be a lucrative gig depending on your credentials. Some media outlets are willing to pay as much as $1 per word, which translates into $1000 per 1000-word article. Even if you are an amateur, if you have a good story and the right pitch, you can get paid up to $100 per 1000-word piece.
2. Complete surveys
This one is a pretty easy way to make some money online at home. Although you won’t be able to get rich from the money earned, it can be a good money-making way to fill in your down time. There are many websites you can complete surveys on. Below are a few that I recommend:
Opinion Outpost is one of the top survey sites on the internet. Joining is completely free. You can take surveys from anywhere, from your home to your favourite coffee shop. All you need is a laptop and a stable internet connection. Although you won’t get rich quickly, taking free online surveys every month is a fun way to earn a few extra bucks in your spare time.
Another simple way to make some money online at home is through Swagbucks! You can earn points, called SBs, by performing various online activities. The activities include shopping at your favourite store, searching the web, answering surveys, watching videos, or playing games. These tasks are fantastic fillers in your day when you have a few minutes to spare. You can then use the points you earned to redeem for gift cards from popular vendors including Starbucks, Target, Amazon, Walmart, and so much more!
An interesting feature of the Swagbucks gift cards is that they go on sale too! They have days when they offer 20 – 25% off select gift cards. You may want to wait to redeem gift cards on one of these days and get a bigger bang for your buck!
Survey Junkie is a great site if you are looking to make some money online by completing surveys. Not only can you earn some cash, you can also share your opinions to help brands deliver better products and services.
Earning money with Survey Junkie is as easy as counting 1, 2, 3:
- Sign up and your profile so you can be matched to surveys.
- Complete surveys and earn points.
- The surveys are compatible with a huge variety of devices, so you can really complete them any time and anywhere.
- For each survey you complete, you can earn virtual points.
- You can then redeem these points instantly for cash via PayPal or e-gift cards.
Survey Junkie is a well-established online community with over 10 million members. Why not give it a try? You can let your opinions be heard by the brands you love, and you get to make some money in the meantime!
If you are in Canada, Asking Canadians is a great online research community that rewards survey participants. You will be rewarded with loyalty points of your choice for each survey you complete. The types of loyalty points you can earn include AC Points, Hudson’s Bay Rewards† points, Aeroplan® Miles, Petro-Points™ or VIA Préférence™.
If none of these loyalty programs appeal to you, you can choose to be rewarded in other ways, like entries into contests and draws.
3. Selling stuff online (kijiji/ebay)
I have mentioned this trick a couple times now (like here and here), but I want to talk about it again. It really is a great way to make some money online at home, with the added benefit that you get to tidy up your space.
Over the years, I have sold many things. They include:
- An old desktop
- A bookshelf
- A used desk
- A boxing punching bag
- My violin
- etc. etc
Everybody benefits from the arrangement if you sell stuff online. You get to make some money from items that you may be throwing away or keeping in a neglected corner to collect dust, and the buyer gets to have something that is still in good condition at a great price. It is a win-win situation, so who doesn’t love it?
4. Flipping stuff online
If you are an expert in selling stuff online and you don’t mind venturing out a little bit, you may consider going one step further and start flipping stuff. I have personally witnessed some successful stories, of people purchasing something for less than $5 at a local Goodwill but selling it for over $200. If you have good eyes, or if you have special knowledge for a niche market, this can be a really fun way to make some money online in the comfort of your home.
Of course, I recommend that you treat this only as a side hustle, because at the end of the day, the treasures you can find depend heavily on what are available at the local second-hand stores.
5. Start your own blog
This one is another great money-making hobby to have if you love writing.
If you are serious about blogging and learn to be good at it, you can definitely turn this hobby into a legitimate side hustle and make money online at home with it. There are plenty of bloggers who are earning a respectable income, ranging from a few hundred dollars to something that is too large to not be inspiring. Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, for example, has been able to make over 1.5 a million dollars in 2017 and 2018. She has since stopped publishing her exact figures, but we can all imagine that she is probably going even stronger now!
Of course, massively successful blogs are outliers, just like how rare A-listers are amongst all the aspiring actors and actresses. However, if you work hard, you for sure increase your chance of making some money. Even earning $100 a year can go towards paying your utilities and making your life easier.
The benefits of running a blog goes beyond making money online in your spare time at home.
In addition to making some money, you get to:
- Enjoy the freedom of writing basically whatever you want without much restriction (other than crossing legal/moral boundaries, of course).
- Practice writing on a daily basis.
- Meet many like-minded individuals.
- For me personally, starting this personal finance blog has opened my world to so many other bloggers in the same space who share the same passion about saving, making, and managing money as me. I couldn’t have crossed paths with most of them had I not started this blog.
More importantly, starting this blog has also instilled a sense of purpose in my life. Every day, I wake up full of excitement, wanting to make my blog at least a little better. Although I am not making much money now and the amount of traffic coming to my site pales compared to probably 99% of the blogs, I am still passionate. There’s so much room to learn and to grow, as a blogger, and as a person.
The importance of self-hosting
In terms of hosting your blog, I recommend that you use Bluehost. Bluehost is what I use for my site, and I couldn’t be happier. I understand that as a blogger starting out, you may not want to invest too much money into this hobby/potential income stream, but let me tell you, self-hosting is worth it.
I also started with a free blog myself, but I quickly made the switch within a few weeks after realizing how much more flexibility and how much less restriction self-hosting can provide than a free blog offered by WordPress.com or Blogger.
With as little as $3.95 USD a month, you can self-host with Bluehost. You can also get some additional perks such as:
- FREE domain name for the 1st year
- FREE SSL certificate
- 1-Click WordPress install
Self-hosting is an affordable investment that I highly recommend you make. I promise you that you will not regret it.
6. Start a website
If you are passionate about a certain topic, and you have some aptitude in technology (or the drive to learn), then you are in a good position to start a website.
I like this one because just like starting a blog, the start-up cost for a DIY website is fairly low. It can even be cheaper than other hobbies like trying out different restaurants and gardening. All you need is to purchase a domain name and find a place to host your website. Again, Bluehost is the hosting provider I recommend.
Of course, the expenses can go way up depending on how professional you want your website to look, and how much outside help you want to get.
How do you monetize your website or your blog?
To begin, the easiest ways are running ads (google AdSense or media.net) and doing affiliate marketing. Once you get sufficient traffic, there will be more people coming to you for sponsored posts, paying for ad spaces, etc. You can also create your own products and sell them through your website, or create a subscription-based service. Give it a try and see how it goes!
7. Flipping websites or blogs
I’d say this is a more advanced way to make money online at home. You can either start your own website or blog, increase traffic, and sell them, or you can purchase existing websites or blogs, make them better, and sell them. Either way, flipping requires that you have good eyes to identify which websites or blogs have potential. You need to know what your strengths are as well so you can make the necessary improvements.
8. Enter online contests
Even if you don’t enter online contests though Asking Canadians, you should still do it whenever possible to maximize your chance of making some money online! If your first reaction upon seeing this is “nah, I am never going to win”, think again! You are missing out on some great opportunities for winning some things, at very little cost! Trust me, you can win some stuff if you are persistent. Although I have never won anything big, I have scored quite a few free drinks and free tickets to shows and events.
One nice thing about entering online contests that’s different from a lottery is that you have no initial cost. At most, you just have to do a little bit of math to answer their security questions.
9. Invest your spare change with Acorns
Think you need a large sum of money to start investing? IT ISN’T NECESSARY! Acorns is the leading micro investing app in the U.S. It is a super easy-to-use app that allows you to invest your life’s spare money. You only need under 5 minutes to sign up, and there is no minimum investment required. You will be investing in a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds, and watching your money grow effortlessly at home.
10. Receive rebates for purchases
The flip side of making money online is finding ways to pay less for items you buy. There are mainly ways you can accomplish your goal. A few sites and apps that I use include:
Rakuten, formally known as Ebates, is a popular online cash-back shopping site in Canada and the US. For every single purchase that you made through Rakuten, you get a discount! Rakuten has more than 2,500 stores from a wide array of categories listed, including many well-known brands like Dell, Walmart, Chapter-Indigo, and even Amazon.
Using Rakuten is extremely simple. 98% of the entire online purchase process remains unchanged. The only difference is that you need to go to Rakuten’s website first, from where you select the desired merchant. Rakuten will then automatically redirect you to the merchant’s official website.
To help myself remember, I make sure that I bookmark Rakuten on my bookmark bar. I highly recommend that you do the same. An extra second of clicking the link can save you up to 10% off your purchases. It is such an easy way to make some extra money at home online, isn’t it!
On top of the cash back mentioned above, I also have a special little something for you:
Fetch is an amazing app that gives you cash back on everyday grocery items. All you have to do is check out the weekly offers, buy the items at any store and take a picture on your receipt to earn cash back. Super easy to earn some cash back, isn’t it!
11. Join an online exchange network
Exchanging items with others is both fun and free. Not only can you save quite a bit of money getting things you need, you can also declutter your space, and make some new friends in the meantime. I have actually heard of couples who met through online exchange networks. They are now living happily ever after together!
My favourite online exchange network is Bunz. I have met some wonderful people through this platform while saving plenty of money.
Watch ads to earn Btz
Bunz has also recently started a new initiative that enables you to watch ads for about 30 seconds in exchange for Btz, the digital currency you can use on the platform to exchange for real items. That doesn’t sound difficult if you want to make some money online at home, does it?
12. Lose weight with HealthyWage
Do you want to make some money online at home while achieving your fitness goal? Look no further than HealthyWage!
HealthyWage is such an interesting and innovative tool that ties financial incentives to your own personal health goals. The concept is simple: you make a bet on how much weight you can lose. When you achieve your goal, you win real money! What a nice way to kill two birds with one stone!
I highly recommend that you give HealthyWage a try if you do want to lose some weight. Keep in mind though that you should lose weight in a healthy manner. Losing too much weight or losing weight too fast can cause damage to your health, not to mention that you may regain the weight back.
Anybody can appreciate some extra money. There are for sure legitimate ways to make money online at home out there, and I am sure the above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you are someone adept with apps, my friend Mike has a great post for you over here. Which ones of the 12 ways I mentioned have you tried or would like to try? Are there any other ways to make money online that you recommend? Share with me and the other readers in the comment section below!
Bella Wanana is a freelance writer. She is the owner of bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates.